August 15, 2012
Today's Hotness: Fridge Poetry, Panda Riot, Fashoda Crisis
>> [UPDATED] Based on his remarks in our interview with his band a year ago about logging copious hours jacked into his beloved Japanese 8-track machine and Fruity Loops, it's little surprise that Johnny Foreigner drummer Junior Elvis Washington Laidley has finally revealed a bedroom project, the beats-and-electronics concern Fridge Poetry. The name itself is apt, as Mr. Laidley -- in the spirit of Dntel and The 6ths -- produces the music and then invites vocalists in to complete the tracks. Fridge Poetry's debut tune, a demo titled "Crash Down," is a remarkable, undulating dreamer that comes off as something of an update of the very early Johnny Foreigner song "Sword Buried," morphed into a contemporary remix of Crooked Fingers' "Crowned In Chrome" with a touch of Lali Puna thrown in because that is always the best thing you can do to a song. "Crash Down" features vocals and lyrics from Thomas Sherwood Nicholls, a name we assumed we knew until we did some fact checking and discovered this is not Tom from Calories or Tom from Tubelord or even Tom Campesinos! But as it happens, Mr. Nicholls' vocals previously appeared on an all-time-favorite song here at Clicky Clicky, Johnny Foreigner's somber and impressionistic ballad "All Moseley Gardens," which longtime Johnny Foreigner fans will recall as the hidden final track on the trio's smashing debut EP Arcs Across The City. Fridge Poetry's Soweto Slo Mo EP, which will contain a heretofore undetermined number of tracks, will be self-released late September or early October via Bandcamp. Fans can expect more collaborations with recognizable figures from Johnny Foreigner's constellation of indie pals, although it's a touch early for us to be naming names. For now, you've got the electronic bliss-out of "Crash Down" to occupy your ear canals; stream it via the embed below. For its part, Johnny Foreigner is about to reveal a slate of North American tour dates. Can we say that? Well, we guess we just did. The only date that's been announced as of this writing is Nov. 7 in Boston, Massachusetts. More details to come.
>> While much has been made about the more rock-oriented shoegaze revival acts of the past few years, there's less mention of the sugary, dance-oriented facet of the genre. But it's one that never truly dissipated and has been raving underground for years. Newer bands includingRumskib, Airiel and even the long-running Cocteau Twins continued to reliably release massive guitar washes paired with electronic beats long after My Bloody Valentine was left flummoxed by its own genius. Another proud and notable foot soldier of this ecstasy-rush movement is Philly-born and Chicago-based Panda Riot, whose limited-edition "Serious Radical Girls" 7" was released in early June by Saint Marie Records. The quartet's 2010 EP Far And Near established the band as a quality act, and the new three track single marks a welcome return, boasting more fully realized and bombastic production with just the right amount of cloudiness. The title track "Serious Radical Girls" features proudly chorused guitars and singer Rebecca Scott's sweet and clear vocal work (which pleasantly echoes that of Velocity Girl's Sarah Shannon). Follow-up "Golden Age Precursor" is a quick pastiche of clipped vocal samples and delay effects, and the single also includes a remix of "Serious Radical Girls" by Dean Garcia, formerly of U.K. dream-pop band Curve. Mr. Garcia is arguably one of the main drivers of the aforementioned shoegaze/dance stylistic melange, and it's doubtful Panda Riot could have identified a more logical partner for a remix. Listen to all three tracks via the embed below, and click through to Bandcamp to purchase the single, which is available in a limited edition of 400 vinyl pieces packaged with download code. -- Edward Charlton
>>Essex, UK-based smartpunx Fashoda Crisis are in the throes of creating a new vinyl EP for release this fall, according to an email from fronter Simeon Ralph. But in the meantime the act has released a characteristically cracking shouter "He's Got Gills" on a new compilation from the label Cognitive Dissonance. Well shy of two minutes in length, "He's Got Gills" touts a bruising guitar and bass attack, skull-rattling stops and starts and Mr. Ralph's throat-shredding vitriol, all of which could be said to earn the band a designation as Future Of The Left Jr. Cognitive Dissonance's compilation is titled Now That's What I Call Cognitive Dissonance Vol. 1, and you can stream the entire thing right here; it is selling for the criminally tiny price of one pound. Fashoda Crisis' previous full length, the deliciously caustic sophomore set Him They Make Learn Read, was issued last November. Stream "He's Got Gills" below.